how do you teach poetry
shall you instruct
how to have a soul
in chairs, facing front
apple on the table
will you tell me how to feel
in alphabetical order
you would do well
to hold class
at the edge of the volcano
the center of the storm

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cedar crypts

sunbonnet sue.jpg

Like a cedar crypt
they lie in bags, All
their childhoods
wrapp’t amongst lavender
and dust, and
the scent of every Christmas
Each disappointment
sanitized
with the colors of quilts
The squares of each dress
every drape
all our lives

you’ve been gone 20 years
but I felt you pass behind me
and touch my back
cold and reaching
while I was washing the dishes

if you are really there
you might help dry

I got behind
and catching up
is something like
grape stomping
in a swamp
getting so stuck in the
sweet muck
and no one sees it
so does it really happen
the wineclaydirt slurry
bogged. left. carnival of mud.

first cuppa
with the rising sun
joyous and bright
cup two for discourage-
ment and woe
cup three for I Love Lucy
some laughs
fourth cuppa
to mute out the noise
bring on the joys
of so much good taste
and hot, steamy
give-without-taking
kind of cuppa

He closed like a door
not slammed
the way we hear a warning shot
before the storm
but shut meticulously
carefully
to evoke no more than a soft click
easily missed

It was always the silence that did me in.
I put up with every violation
in a way that no one should
but I never stopped living
until the silence got me